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OS Comparison (lineage, ubports)

I’m currently in the situation of being able to compare ubports and Lineage OS on two devices and I’ll share my results here.

I currently don’t have access to two devices, so this post won’t be updated until I do again.

But be aware that e.g. performance tests are not very representative when testing with just one device per OS. The two devices may simply be different by themselves (The Lineage device is my personal FP2 which I use since 2 years - old screen, old camera & top-module, old SIM Slots, one of which is broken and much used battery. The ubports device I just assembled out of all new modules and for now I’m testing it without a SIM or SD card and without any 3rd party software).

Feel free to add your findings by posting below, also comparing different OSes.
For now I’ll only update this post with my findings, but if we gather enough data I might make it a wiki.

Lineage OS:

  • Current Version: 14.1 (based on Android 7.1.2)
  • latest Update: 26.12.2017
  • Security Patch Level: 05.12.2017
  • App Store:
    • default: none
    • in use: F-Droid with system privileges
      • medium-sized app catalog
      • 100% FLOSS software
      • Anti-features warnings
    • Possibility to download huge catalogue of free (as in free-beer) apps from play store without an account (via Yalp).
  • Possibility for #livingwogoogle
    • no proprietory google software included (afaik)
    • location service and many other alternatives available via microg
    • You can easily block all google domains by editing the hosts file (e.g. with Adaway). System will then tell you it has no internet connection even though that’s not true, because android can’t ping google.
    • Google controls android upgrades and security updates so you’ll always be dependent on google to some extent.

ubports:

  • Current Version: 15.04
  • latest Update: 20.12.2017
  • Security Patch Level: ??
  • App Store:
    • default: Open Store
      • tiny catalog with many basic apps only available as web-apps
      • afaict only FLOSS apps - even webapp versions for proprietary (e.g. Google Apps) use FLOSS licenses.
    • Possibility to install adroid apps (haven’t tested yet)
  • Possibility for #livingwogoogle
    • no proprietory google software included (afaik)
    • comes without location services (I wonder if microg could work with android app support).
    • haven’t tried ways to edit hosts file yet

Some direct comparisons

  • speed comparisons:
    • shutting down: ubports :heavy_plus_sign: :heavy_plus_sign: :heavy_plus_sign:
    • booting: lineage :heavy_plus_sign: :heavy_plus_sign: :heavy_plus_sign:
    • rebooting: lineage :heavy_plus_sign: :heavy_plus_sign:
    • booting to recovery: lineage :heavy_plus_sign: :heavy_plus_sign: :heavy_plus_sign:
    • starting apps: lineage :heavy_plus_sign:
    • browsing: about the same
  • battery comparisons:
    • charging: ubports twice as fast during first test
    • discharging (idle): same during first test
    • discharging (active): pending

I’ll compare more things later…

11 Likes

As far as I understood this requires version 16.04 and won’t be possible in 15.04

I have a rather similar setup, i.e. two devices, one with LineageOS 14.1 (but with opengapps pico) and one with UBports 15.04, both with SIM, but only the LineageOS with SD card.

I’ll probably switch to UBports 16.04 to support development by feedback and maybe bug reports, but that depends a bit on how much time I can spend on it :wink:

3 Likes

If I’m not mistaken, Ubports comes with the Mozilla backend pre-installed. Location works for me, when I’m connected to the Internet. For the GPS part of the story, the Ubports installer says it doesn’t work for Fairphone 2, but the FP2 page of the Ubports site says the contrary. I haven’t tested the GPS, as I don’t know how (shame on me !) and I’m not that interested.

This is not completely true (if I’m not mistaken), as Ubuntu Touch is built on top of Android/Lineage, which depends on Google :frowning: The only hope I see in the future is the PostmarketOS port for FP2, which is in progress… As the main goal is to get rid of the Android kernel and to run whatever you want on top of the PostmarketOS kernel, we would then have the possibility to be completely Google-free :slight_smile: And then only the BIOS would be proprietary…

I think you can use this app : uAdBlock. The dirty way would be to mount your system so you can write it (by opening your phone’s terminal and typing sudo mount / -o rw, remount /), and edit /etc/hosts. When you reboot, your system partition shouldn’t be writable anymore. I didn’t test this way and I don’t want to, because I don’t want to brick my device forever (and I only have one).

I hope my answers will help you :slight_smile:

EDIT : the command to enable read-write mode would be : sudo mount -o remount,rw /

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Tried UBports on my fairphone 2, the only think was it didn’t support the dual SIMs.

Lineage for microG works more or less without major issues and with no GMS. Lineage as installs APKs like WhatsApp without any problems.

Strange… On my device, UBports Ubuntu Touch is able to support the dual SIM !

I’m interested in your battery comparison: I only get 12-14 hours of standby with ubuntu, when I have mobile data activated. When I only use wifi, I get comparable results to my former LineageOS installation.
How long does it last for you when you switch on mobile data?

In my System Settings I can only choose between “Let the device detect your location:”

  • “Using GPS” or
  • “Not at all”.

That’s why I assumed there were no Location Services installed. Maybe it is because I have no SIM inserted, although the Mozilla backend should work with only WiFi too.

Do you know if ubports is dependent on G%§$e’s security updates?

Thanks, I’ll give it a try.

Can’t try because I only have one SIM card and I need to keep it in my Lineage OS device.

Hmm. I can see this choice (Using GPS or Not at all) too, even with a SIM card. When I activate the GPS (or what I believe to be the GPS), activate Wi-Fi and open uNav, it detects my position, although not very precisely (~150 metres !). I don’t know if the location services depend on the SIM card, but I think not, at least not entirely.

I don’t know, sorry… But, I think yes, in a way, because the kernel is still Android. For example, they had to patch the Blueborne issue for OTA-3.
I don’t know if they depend on Google in order to release Ubuntu-Touch 16.04 either, if the update question was what you meant. But Ubports has a Telegram supergroup that you can join :slight_smile:

I’m afraid the real question would be How much is Ubports dependent on Google ?, instead of Is Ubports dependent on Google ?. For me, Ubports is the less Google-dependent and libre OS that exists at the moment (I exclude Sailfish because, even if they have some open parts, they bind you to terms of service with which I can’t agree), and so I chose this despite it’s limitations mainly because of this, and also because I’d say it’s the OS that has the greatest Linux-feeling : the terminal, the commands, the file structure really makes me feel ‘home’. On Lineage, Termux was too strange for me. And I also prefer the Ubports interface, because I find it clearer than Android/Lineage.

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